Observations from Angela Lennox, DVM:

The Truth about “Micro Teacup” Mini Pigs

Mini pigs make great pets, no doubt about that!  For those wishing to add a pet pig to the household (or barnyard), remember it’s buyer beware!  ALL baby pigs are small!  Some unscrupulous breeders sell baby pigs far younger than recommended so they look small, but hide the fact they will be much larger than grown. Remember that a miniature pig is not full grown until 5 years of age and a healthy adult miniature pig should weigh between 40-120 lbs, depending on the breed. If the breeder says that your pig will be smaller than that, they are either misleading you or selling an unhealthy pig.

How can you be sure your mini pig stays mini?

  1. Check the references of the breeder, and ask to talk with other buyers and possibly visit their pigs.  Avoid breeders who won’t get put you in contact with other buyers.
  2. Ask to see the parents. Of course, you could always be shown other pigs who are not the parents, but if the breeder hesitates or declines, walk away. Again, remember that pigs are not fully grown until 5 years of age and can be bred well before that, so the parents may not be fully grown yet either!
  3. Never buy a bottle fed or pre-weaned pig; these animals are at higher risk for medical and behavioral problems.  Only buy pigs that are completely weaned and eating solid food well.
  4. NEVER buy the runt; this actually goes for any species!  (This doesn’t mean we don’t love rescuing them!)
  5. Only buy pets from breeders with a health guarantee, and bring your new pig for a health check up as soon as possible after purchase. If your pig has not been spayed or neutered before purchase, it is very important to arrange the surgery while they are still relatively small, as surgery is generally cheaper and recovery is faster when pigs are still small. We recommend spaying all pet pigs for medical and behavioral reasons.

Remember pot belly pigs should eat commercial food designed for pet pigs, never for farm pigs.  Avoid obesity and all the secondary health problems by never feeding your pig from the table, and only offering healthy vegetables and some fruits for treats.  Free range pigs allowed to graze and get exercise are almost always the healthiest!

Pigs are very smart and can develop behavior problems if not properly trained and enriched. While many owners find this to be the best part of owning a pig, it can be a lot of work and isn’t for everyone. We offer free pre-purchase consults for all new pet-owners and we strongly recommend that you come meet with us BEFORE you purchase your pig to make sure that you are prepared to provide everything she needs to live a long and happy life!